This photo was shared on the Helped by Animals Facebook page, with the caption:
On August 9, we posted the photo of a newborn gorilla getting a checkup and reacting at the coldness of the stethoscope….Here is the same gorilla, and a human baby reacting exactly the same way. We are much more alike than we are different, right?
It is an moving photograph and an intriguing theory. But is it true? Just how similar are gorillas and humans? Here are a few surprising facts to consider about our primate brethren:
Gorillas are our second-closest living relatives, second only to the chimps.
Humans and gorillas share about 98% of the same genetic code.
Gorilla communication is linked to the left hemisphere of the brain — just as it is in humans.
Koko, a female gorilla who has been the subject of many studies on apes and humans, was taught to use sign language and understand spoken English. She has a working vocabulary of over 1000 signs. If you missed it, check out this video of Robin Williams playing with her!
What do you think? Are we more similar to gorillas than we are different? And with gorilla populations dwindling around the world as a result of habitat loss, disease and poaching, should these insights effect policies in place to protect gorillas?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.